Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Almond Raspberry Cake

Yum yum yum yum yum!  Yes, it's that good!  Growing up, I always remember my grandmother making an amazing raspberry cake topped with a raspberry sauce.  I could never get enough of it when we went to visit (that and the M&Ms she used to keep in the candy jar)!  My other grandmother, the Italian, burnt everything she baked (true story), but none the less, the flavors were always wonderful.  I wanted to create a sophisticated dessert, like the raspberry cake that my grandma made, yet still bring in the Italian flavors that I love (without the burnt flavor of course).  So here you have it, an almond raspberry cake that is full of healthy fats, high in protein, and low in simple carbs. You'll note that I use Swerve in place of sugar.  I get it at Whole Foods, but I'm sure you can find it online and if not, use your sweetener of choice.

1 1/2 cups almond meal (you can also use cashew meal - really any nut flour would probably do)
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs (yolks & whites separated)
1/3 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp almond butter
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp pure almond extract 
1/3 cup Swerve (sugar replacement) divided 
Pinch of fine sea salt
3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a spring-form pan, with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread almond flour on it.  Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and toast for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together egg yolks, ricotta cheese, almond butter, almond extract, lemon zest and 1/6 cup Swerve until smooth.  In a separate bowl whisk together the almond flour and baking powder(I actually did this on the baking sheet). Add the flour mixture to egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth. 

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on medium high speed until they start to increase in size. Once that happens, add a pinch of fine sea salt and slowly add the remaining 1/6 cup of Swerve.  Continue to beat until soft peaks form.

Fold egg white mixture into the almond mixture a little bit at a time. Then carefully stir in the raspberries. Once fully incorporated, pour the batter into the prepared spring-form pan and place into the oven to bake for approximately 20 minutes until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean. The sides and top should also start to become golden in color. 

Note that cooking time will vary based on your size pan. I use a 10" pan which results in a thin cake and a 20 min bake time. If you use a smaller pan, increase your cooking time in 5 min increments until done. 

I love this cake as is, and as such I chose not to make a raspberry sauce for the top.  It is perfect with a cup of coffee for dessert or for a morning treat. Enjoy!